June National 2022

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SPECIAL EID-UL-ADHA EDITION Southern Africa’s Muslim Newspaper

Volume 48 | No. 6 | June 2022 | Zul Hijjah 1443 A.H.

Awqaf SA signs MOU to empower Black Muslims

Page 4

Chikane’s stand with Palestine deserves support

Page 14

Hajj 1443: overseas brethren forced to book online face ‘chaos’

Page 18

Gates of mercy open again…

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Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 2

LOCAL NEWS

Muslim Youth Movement to lead ‘Ambassadors for Change’

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Al Qalam Reporter

he Muslim Youth Movement of South Africa is on a mission to empower energetic groups of young leaders who can bring about significant change in their communities. MYMSA will do this through the ‘Ambassadors for Change’ workshop which will be piloted in KwaZulu-Natal. The workshop will take place at the Al Ansaar Conference Centre in Durban, between June 27 and July 2, with the primary purpose to train skills facilitators and activists within communities.

unteers and non-governmental organisations, will participate in the six-day course. It is designed to give participants critical thinking skills, knowledge, participatory methods and techniques to facilitate community workshops, dialogues and to assist members of the community, who are victims of discrimination and unethical action.

MYMSA believes there is a critical need for more youth leaders in communities, given the current state of the country.

“What we are trying to do is to inspire young people to become change agents and to form a national movement to push for change in our country. After looking at the situation that South Africa is in, we thought that maybe the energy of young people is what is needed right now. Wherever they are in their communities, they, the youth, can be agents of change,” said Thandile Kona, President of the MYMSA.

Young people from secondary schools who are in grade 10 and 11, universities, vol-

The organisation says ‘Ambassadors for Change’ is critical to address issues

of rampant racism, gender-based violence, falsifying qualifications, acquiring tenders through illegal means, corrupt and unethical politicians and lawlessness in the country which are issues that have become prevalent in society.

“It’s important for so many reasons. Young people find themselves at a loss in communities at a micro-level. There are no programmes to get young people involved in socio-political programmes. This is basically a way to introduce them to this,” said Kona. Kona says the change that South Africa would like to see, would not happen by itself. “We are talking about the use and abuse of drugs, crime levels, poverty, and inequality. The youth can be the change agents when it comes to these issues and we are excited about the opportunities this programme will present. We have an amazing cohort of talented,

What we are trying to do is to inspire young people to become change agents and to form a national movement to push for change in our country.

young people that will be part of the workshop,” said Kona. Rashid Chopdat, a facilitator for the programme says hosting ‘Ambassadors for Change’ is necessary, given that the youth aren’t involved in community affairs as much as they should be. “They don’t give back to the community. The youth hide behind their Xboxes and social media. This is to get them out of this and to

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make them realise that as the youth, they can be the change. We want them to start making the change,” said Chopdat.

a workshop, will be on the agenda. We will train them on how to deal with issues of violence, bullying, and racism. These are issues the youth face at school and tertiary level. The Human Rights Commission will also be present with the Department of Justice, for a part of the workshop. They will talk about the judicial system and understanding our rights. These are critical discussions that need to be had among the youth,” said Chopdat.

The pilot programme will see around 30 participants who have gone through an interview process, to make the cut.

This will allow the youth involved to reflect on the South African Constitution and laws, make referrals via MYMSA to the relevant Chapter Nine institutions and civil society organisations when offenses of racism, GBV and crimes against society take place.

“There will be so many important elements and things for them to learn. Simple things like report writing skills and how to organise

After ‘Ambassadors for Change’ is piloted in KZN, the MYMSA plans to take the programme to the rest of the country.


Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 3

KHUTBAH

After 3 painful years, 1-million hujjaj will seek Allah’s mercy at Mt. Arafah In the wake of the global pandemic, there is a dire need for future hujjaj to be better equipped to experience the spiritual healing of hajj without compromising on the external rites (manasik) of the hajj, writes Imam Dr. A. Rashied Omar

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his year 2022CE/ 1443AH for the first time in three years one million hujjaj, most of them traveling from outside of Saudi Arabia, are blessed to pause and stand on the plains of `Arafah as part of the climax of the hajj. It remains important to reflect on the impact the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pan-

demic has had on hajj, and lessons we could draw from this. Undoubtedly, as a direct consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic over the past three years the noble intentions of millions of prospective hujjaj have been thwarted and remain unfulfilled because they have been unable to travel to perform the sacred duty of hajj. Notwithstanding this deleterious effect the pandemic is having on the hajj, I would like, however, to focus on the conditions that the Covid-19 pandemic is creating for a positive influence on the post pandemic and future performance of the manasik or rites of the hajj. The pandemic has wrought untold loss and trauma on the world, and has compelled us to pause and reset almost every aspect of our lives which we have come to take for granted. It would be a travesty if we do not seize this moment to reflect critically on our lives at a personal and social level, locally and globally. Such reflection at this time, should include our con-

temporary culture and practice of the fifth and final pillar of Islam. This difficult yet extraordinary moment in history offers us a rare opportunity to reflect on whether the millions of annual pilgrims that we are accustomed to, are truly witnessing and obtaining the manifold benefits of the hajj as proclaimed by Allah, the Sublime, in Surah al-Hajj, chapter 22 verse 28: They shall witness the benefits (manaf`i of the hajj) for themselves.

For a very long time now, contemplative Muslim scholars, from different Islamic orientations, such as Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d.1111), Dr. `Ali Shariati (d.1977), and Shaykh Salman bin Fahd al-Oudah (b.1955) have lamented the manner in which the performance of the hajj has been reduced to external rituals which do not spiritually heal or morally rehabilitate the pilgrims. Shaykh al-Oudah, for example, aptly describes the contemporary state of the ummah in their relationship

to the fifth and final pillar of Islam, the hajj, in the following quotation:“It can be most startling to see how many pious Muslims are completely oblivious to the values and objectives of the Hajj, and of the effects it should have on the soul. The Hajj should bring about positive changes in a person’s life and person’s behavior. If scholars were asked about these matters as much as they were asked about the details of how to perform the external rites of the Hajj, it would be for the better.” From my own personal experience of teaching hajj classes for the past three decades and having been fortunate and blessed to perform the hajj twice, I concur with the above viewpoint. In order to mitigate this exclusive and sometimes fanatical focus on the external rites of the hajj by most hujjaj without regard to its personal transformative purposes of individual spiritual healing and socio-moral re-

habilitation, serious intervention strategies are needed. The current global pandemic offers a unique opportunity to reflect deeply about how we could institute a reform process in which future hujjaj are better equipped and enabled to experience the great spiritual healing and moral transformation potential in the hajj experience without compromising the proper execution of the external rites (manasik) of the hajj. I would like to suggest three such strategies. These are not intended to be exhaustive but rather to prompt us to use this difficult and reflective moment to stimulate creative thinking and robust discussion around how we could improve the future experiences of the hajj and bring it closer to the great spiritual and ethico-moral benefits that our Lord and Sustainer had intended it for us. 1) Instituting More Robust and Comprehensive Hajj Educational Programmes; 2) Discouraging the Performance of Hajj Multiple

times; 3) Censoring the Economic Exploitation of Hujjaj The above three strategies are not exhaustive but could serve as a grist for the mill in exploring ways of creating the conditions for pilgrims to being better able to achieve the sublime purposes and goals of the hajj. I am sure there are other proposals and welcome them. It is my considered view that the current Covid-19 pandemic is already having a significant impact on the hajj. We need to harness this difficult time to campaign for changes in the contemporary culture and practice of the annual hajj that will enable pilgrims to achieve the sublime purposes of the hajj of spiritual healing and ethico-moral rehabilitation. We pray and make du`a that Allah, the Lord of Compassion, will grant them a Divinely accepted Hajj Mabrur and forgiveness of their trespasses.

Eid ul Adha Mubarak


Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 4

LOCAL NEWS

Awqaf SA signs MOU to empower Black Muslims in the country

Both organisations agreed to coordinate their efforts to empower Black Muslims, writes Nabeelah Shaikh.

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n a historic move, Awqaf SA has entered a Memorandum of Understanding to empower black Muslims in the country. The MOU was signed over the weekend at the South African Black Muslims Conference, held in Johannesburg. Awqaf SA is a community based charitable organisation aimed at investing endowment funds for various community development programmes. The organisation’s CEO, Zeinoul Abedien Cajee, says the purpose of the MOU is to allow both parties to commit to cooperation, collaboration, friendship, brotherhood and unity. “We felt that we needed to cement our relationship even further with emerging Muslim communities. We call this a level one agreement

where we lay the groundwork for relationship building. We see commonalities between us, we see ways in which we can both add value. Together we can achieve a lot,” said Cajee.

The MOU deals with entering into joint projects that both parties can work on. “We are committed to the development of emerging Muslim communities and we feel that a MOU will help us foster that particular aim as well. We haven’t identified any specific projects yet, but going forward we can look at research projects and empowerment projects that we plan to work on,” said Cajee. He says the signing is a significant breakthrough. “It’s a significant move for established Muslim communities to show there’s nothing to be afraid of, nothing to shy away from. We believe in the concept of one Ummah. At the end of the day, we have the same Kali-

mah in our hearts and there’s nothing that can divide us,” said Cajee.

Cajee signed the MOU with Moulana Thulani Zaid Langa who is an Ameer of the SABMC. The SABMC was established as a non-profit, non-political, think tank, and religious dialogue platform created in 2019 by township and village-based Muslim organisations across South Africa. Their main aim was to organise an annual conference to discuss issues that are affecting the black emerging Muslim community in the country. Expertise Some 200 delegates from around the country gathered over the weekend to participate in the conference. The conference sought to outline the status of Black Muslims in South Africa, to highlight some of the pertinent challenges that are facing

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Moulana Thulani Zaid Langa, Ameer of the SABMC and Zeinoul Abedien Cajee, CEO of Awqaf SA, signing the Memorandum of Understanding. black Muslims, and to share ideas and expertise on how to improve the conditions of black Muslims, economically, socially and educationally. Aslam Tawana, a spokesperson for the SABMC said the conference allowed leaders to adopt a national pro-

gramme to address some of the identified challenges.

plays in nation building. We spoke about ways of dealing with extremism and Islamophobia and to see how best we can contribute to the nation’s moral regeneration,” said Tawana. This is why the signing of the MOU was so historic for both groups.

“It was also really a platform where we can encourage the culture of taking charge of our own affairs. This enables us to form partnerships with stakeholders and to highlight the role the Black Muslim community

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Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 5

LOCAL NEWS continued from page 4 “Both organisations agreed to coordinate their efforts to empower Black Muslims in townships and villages. We believe this will be the best way for us to achieve economic emancipation for the Black Muslim community. We will work with each other to ensure we can achieve this. Now that the MOU is signed, we are going to hit the ground running immediately, to work together so we can improve the conditions of the Black Muslim community,” said Aslam Tawana. Tawana said the conference was a resounding success, and was the perfect platform to put plans into action, with the theme this year being, “Nation Under Construction”. “We had about 70 Ulama present which was a big deal for us. We had amazing partners such as Awqaf SA and the Jamiatul Ulama of South Africa on board. Mentorship, training, coaching, partnerships, access to funding and networking, were some of the centerpieces of the conference. Much of the focus was also looking into how we can develop Black Muslim businesses and Black Muslim

entrepreneurs. The aim is to take them out of poverty and unemployment in the townships,” said Tawana. Na’eem Jeenah, Executive Director of the Afro-Middle East Centre and former editor of Al Qalam, said, “More than an organisation, the SABMC represents an important historical moment in the life of the South African Muslim community. It is the self-assertion of African Muslims in a manner that rejects condescension and paternalism, and where they declare their readiness to take on the rest of the Muslim community – and the rest of the world – on their own terms, rather than on terms dictated to them. It should also be a wake-up call to those who still think of African Muslims as being ‘an emerging Muslim community’. Some day we will look back on this development as one of the milestones in the formation of a Muslim community in South Africa, away from our history of having many Muslim communities. Another important highlight of the event was the establishment of a SABMC bursary fund. The fund has been intro-

duced to assist Black Muslim students who cannot afford tertiary education. “We realised that this was something which was desperately needed. The aim is to work towards economic emancipation and the development of our people. This is one way we can achieve this, by identifying needy black Muslim students who will benefit from the bursary fund, and will then be able to use their skills to give back and empower their communities,” said Tawana. Awqaf SA has also pledged to match the total amount raised at the conference towards the bursary fund. Tawana said the main aim of the conference was so that leaders can adopt a national programme to address some of the identified challenges. “It also really is a platform where we can encourage the culture of taking charge of our own affairs. This enables us to form partnerships with stakeholders. The conference was also used to highlight the role the Black Muslim community plays in nation building. We spoke about ways of dealing with extremism and Islamophobia and to see how best we can contribute to the nation’s moral regeneration,” said

Tawana. Ebrahim Mphutlane wa Bofelo, an expert on governance and leadership, said within any community there will always be a section of that community which for historical reasons, is disempowered, marginalised, and who are not on par with the broader community.

“This is the case with the black Muslim community. And therefore, there will always be a need for a platform for people who face issues and challenges that are particular and peculiar to them, to organise themselves in order for them to put their heads, hearts and

hands together to resolve those issues. And there is nothing wrong with this. There will always be a need for people who are faced with a township experience to deal with issues affecting them,” said Mphutlane wa Bofelo.

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Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 6

FEATURE

Dr Ayoob Bux: ‘Dream to establish quality hospitals has been realised’

Driven by the efforts of Dr Bux, a third private hospital, the Hibiscus Hospital in Scottburgh is set to open this month making superior health care facilities more accessible to people in the area, writes Nabeelah Shaikh.

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r Bux’s dream was to make quality private healthcare more accessible to people. And so, he set out on a mission to achieve this. Bux, a 62-year-old General Practitioner on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, has been in the medical profession for more than three decades. He obtained his medical degree from India’s Manipal University in 1986, after which he returned to South Africa and worked at a hospital in Mthatha, where he helped set up its Department of Family Medicine. He later went into private practice and is now at the forefront

of establishing private healthcare facilities, in areas where there is a dire need for them. Bux is the founder and chairman of the Hibiscus Hospital Group. The group boasts three private hospitals; Hibiscus Hospital Port Shepstone, Hibiscus Hospital Cato Ridge, and the newly built Hibiscus Hospital Scottburgh which is set to open this month.

For Bux, this journey started back in 1989, with the establishment of Port Shepstone’s first private hospital. “Having been a GP in Port Shepstone, one of the challenges was that there was no private hospital in the area. The patients that needed admission, had to be sent to public hospitals. Those who were on medical aid, and other patients, were being charged private fees, based on their income. So, the thought occurred to me,

if they are paying private fees and receiving second grade service, why not establish a private hospital in Port Shepstone,” said Bux. The Hibiscus Day Clinic in Port Shepstone was then established in 1989.

As the demand for private healthcare increased, a 40bed hospital was opened in 1990. It then went from being a 40-bed facility to a now first class, 150-bed hospital. More recently, Bux opened the Hibiscus Hospital Cato Ridge. “It is a 58 bed hospital which services Cato Ridge and surrounding areas. It was opened in 2020, just when the COVID-19 pandemic hit,” said Bux. This was another community he identified where there was no private healthcare facility available. “There are lots of employees both in the state and

private sector, who have medical insurance. I don’t think it’s fair for them to go and have to wait in a state facility because of the chronic shortage of beds, when they can afford private healthcare. The state hospitals could have more space for needy patients. It can help ease the burden on state hospitals. Therefore establishing these hospitals were so important,” said Bux.

Aside from being the chairman of the Hibiscus Hospital Group, in 2018, Bux was invited to join the board of Durban’s Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital.

pital along with the Islamic Medical Association, are involved in various social programmes including cataract surgeries for the visually impaired and a dialysis facility for people with renal failure. There are also patients who can’t afford healthcare and we are able to seek sponsors to assist with their medical bills,” said Bux. At the Hibiscus Hospital Group, he runs various social programmes in Port Shepstone, one of them is a crèche being managed in a rural area.

At the centre of leading these healthcare facilities, Bux says service to humanity was important.

“We also keep in close contact with the government hospital in the area, and we run a free cataract operation service once a quarter. We help the government to try and catch up with their backlog, because they have huge waiting lists for cataract surgeries,” said Bux.

“The Ahmed Al-Kadi hos-

Healthcare isn’t the only

In 2019, he was appointed chairperson of the hospital and currently still holds the position.

thing that Bux has his hand in. Bux and his family are also behind the Pedros Flame Grilled Chicken brand, which now has more than 90 stores nationally. “My three sons Moosa, Bilal and Altaaf handle that part of the business. We started it about three years ago, and it has really grown. We are trying to bring more affordable food alternatives to the general public,” said Bux. In our last KZN edition of Al Qalam we ran the above story on page 5. We mentioned in the blurb that the Hibiscus Hospital Group was family run. It was pointed out to Al Qalam that this was incorrect. The Hibiscus Hospital Group is in fact run by a board of directors representing shareholders. Dr Bux is chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hibiscus Hospital Group. We sincerely apologise for this error on our part. editor

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Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 7

OPINION

Oppose the human rights catastrophe under way in India fascist party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are well entrenched, and face no immediate threat to their hold on power.

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By Imraan Buccus

he right-wing authoritarianism that has surged in much of the world in recent years was defeated in the US, and just been dealt a body blow in Colombia. The buffoonish Boris Johnson is hanging onto power by the skin of his teeth and the hard right duo of Jair Bolsonaro and Narendra Modi are still in office. There are growing grounds for hope that Bolsonaro will soon be defeated by the return of Lula da Silva, but in India; Modi, and his

Along with its authoritarianism, and its support for a terrifyingly rapacious form of capitalism, the BJP’s fundamental project, directly influenced by European fascism, is to make India a Hindu state. Minorities of all kinds are under threat as they are increasingly treated as illegitimate interlopers in Hindu India. In recent times the world has stood appalled as the Indian state has continued to demolish the homes of Muslims. Muslims are said to have led protests against the government after recent Islamophobic comments against the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his wife Aisha, by leading members of the BJP party. This led to several Muslim countries calling for an apology and pulling Indi-

an goods off their shelves. This has given the fascist government an excuse to escalate their misrepresentation of Muslims as being a fifth column in Indian society. As shattering images of homes being demolished are beamed across the world, one can’t help but point out the striking similarity to the actions of the brutal Israeli forces who continue to demolish the homes of ordinary citizens and activists. In 2021 close to 1 000 homes were demolished. Recent history records that both India and Israel have been engaged in atrocities dating back decades. The world remembers, for example the horrific anti-Muslim violence led by Modi as chief minister of Gujerat in 2002. Today WhatsApp videos of the public lynching Muslims and Dalit Hindus are regularly circulated in India.

All forms of fascism must be opposed everywhere, whether in states, such as India, or in the form of movements outside of the state, such as Operation Dudula here in South Africa. Indian Islamophobia can be traced back to the formation of the Hindu nationalist paramilitary organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1925. In 1929, the leading RSS

intellectual Madhavrao Sadashivrao Golwalkar, a Nazi sympathizer, is recorded to have said that Muslim culture was incompatible with Indian culture. He openly admired Hitler’s “final solution”. There are well documented links between the RSS and the Hindu Mahasaba, a wellknown and influential Hindu organisation.

movements outside of the state, such as Operation Dudula here in South Africa. Just as there is global solidarity with the oppressed in Palestine, so too does global solidarity need to be built with all the minorities suffering oppression in India.

Of course there are many Hindus around the world who are fiercely critical of the BJP, just as many Muslims are fiercely critical of the leadership of Saudi Arabia and many Jews oppose the Israeli state. But Hindu fascism has wide support in India itself, and in diaspora communities in places like California. Modi was rapturously received by some in South Africa in 2016 and 2018.

We cannot be selective in terms of where we build solidarity, and which states we call to order. Just as the Israeli government and the Saudi Arabian government need to be called to order, so too does the government that is not only wreaking havoc in India but is effectively denying millions of people full citizenship in their country. There is a human rights catastrophe under way in India, and at a staggering scale. It must be opposed by all decent people.

All forms of fascism must be opposed everywhere, whether in states, such as India, or in the form of

Dr Buccus is academic director of a university study abroad program and editor of Al Qalam.


Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 8

OPINION

The missing middle - strategy & statecraft in the Muslim world

This new column, by Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, will focus on his experiences of engaging the Muslim world; in the majority heartlands, and where Muslims are the minority.

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ver the last two decades I have been engaging the Muslim world regarding strategy in the face of authoritarianism in the majority heartlands, and islamophobia and exclusion in minority communities. The main questions involve how Muslims won credibility through participation in the anti-apartheid struggle; how Muslims have been mainstreamed in the political, social, and economic life of post-apartheid South Africa; and how we’ve thrived under conditions (democracy, unconditional inclusion of all who are different, and a regime of human rights and freedom) often viewed with suspicion by Muslims. I am explicitly asked as a Muslim leader who has experienced the vicissitudes of democratic political life. This search for alternative statecraft emerges from the preponderance of authoritarianism with its discontents,

as well as the limitations of the alternatives posited (mostly variations on the theme of Islamism and the Islamic State). Statecraft is about the management of state affairs and the actions that constitute the governing of a nation. The choice of tools involved in statecraft is commensurate with the chosen values of the architects of that statecraft (Rightsbased vs Coercive States / Open vs Closed Societies / Market vs Planned Economies) which then translate into a model of state chosen for a particular society.

After the Arab Spring erupted to public attention in 2011, I found myself in Khartoum, Sudan; in Cairo as guest of the Muslim Brotherhood; in the company of Tunisia’s Sheikh Rashid Ghannoushi; hosting the Syrian exiles in Washington; in a conference of Muslim constitution writers in Doha, and convening the Muslim Minority Leaders Colloquium in Paris, in pursuit of sustainable Muslim statecraft transcending fault lines that have created a crisis for the Muslim Ummah. In the last year these challenges resurfaced when we needed to engage the parties in Sudan, but also Afghanistan, including the Taliban, after 20 years of USA occupation. However, the urgency for such sustainable statecraft was felt in 2011 as the Arab Spring grabbed our attention. The surprising emergence, climax, and then dissipation of the Arab Spring between 2011 and 2013, raise a few

questions about the Muslim world. Most piercingly it confirms the idea of a Missing Middle - an absence of strategy, especially for Muslim statecraft, and for the Ummah. The Arab Spring showed that large sections of the Ummah struggle for justice, but when it is in their grasp, it dissipates: the Arab spring was a deep and passionate yearning for a new, better, fairer, and more just dispensation to overcome authoritarianism, to escape the repressive surveillance state, to create an inclusive and consultative society, and to reverse poverty and inequality. Yet, when the authoritarians like Ben Ali and Mubarak fell, the missing middle was severely felt. What is this missing middle?

Between the innately righteous and justified principle, and the tactics of struggle the mobilisation and rhetoric - lies the connective tissue of strategy: How you connect ultimate goals and objectives to the needs of the immediate moment of struggle with the proposition of a minimum vision, inclusive coalitions and understanding your own strengths in relation to the stubborn strengths of the authoritarians? The missing middle is also that which exists between the reality of a stubborn authoritarian and repressive state, and the eventual ideal state you desire. It is the transitional state that may be an improvement on the authoritarian reality and a

severe compromise on your ideal. This is the missing middle of statecraft. Finally, the missing middle is the enduring principle in Islam when the Ummah, a global community of Muslims, is described as Ummatan Wasatan - the community that is ‘most middlemost’, ‘justly balanced’ or ‘in the middle’. The extremism of your opponent cannot tempt you to the extremes, but neither should your alternative vision appear extreme to those whose whole existence has been based on an authoritarian extreme. The absences of these middles (strategy, statecraft and wasatiyyah) create a fertile ground for counter-revolution by the authoritarians and their global allies and distract the forces for change - the Arab Spring revolutionaries - from their primary task of preventing counter-revolution. Ignoring these ‘missing middles’ allows the “winners” of the revolution to be seduced

into thinking that their ideal vision has been accepted and they simply need to implement it. The “winners” may shun the need to build inclusive governing coalitions with a ‘winner takes all’ strategy and forget to build governments that could include those who may have an interest in, or be available for, fomenting counter-revolution. Making the middle present roots the idea that the first phase of a post-authoritarian regime is a transitional state, and its first tasks include primarily to prevent counter-revolution; secondarily to bring relief to the most vulnerable in society; and progressively to loosen the grip of the authoritarian institutions over society. The fact that only ten years ago we dared to imagine that we could soon experience an alternative to the authoritarian, surveillance state in the Muslim world, can only fill us with the hope that the quest for justice and inclusivity beats strongly in the

Muslim heart. The fact that ten years later the Muslim world has seen the more assertive return of the authoritarians, that they even flaunt their allegiance to Israel as regional hegemon, and that the Arab Spring is reduced to a momentary lapse in Muslim history, speaks to the severe impact of the Missing Middle, the focus on the art of statecraft in the Muslim World - both as alternative to the hegemonic authoritarianism where we are in majority, as well as the minority statecraft for political participation and social activism as pillars in the fight against Islamophobia. The lessons of ignoring these imperatives are too costly not to learn, and, insha-Allah, over the next while I wish to share my experiences with the global ummah - minority and majority - in the pages of Al Qalam. Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool is the Founder of the World for All Foundation.

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Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 9


Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 10

EDITORIAL

LETTERS TO THE

EDITOR

NB. All letters MUST be accompanied by the writer's correct name and contact details, or it will not be published. A nom-de-plume will be accepted only for publication purposes. NB. All views reflected in this column are the opinion of the writer and do NOT necessarily reflect the views of the Editor. We would like to thank all our respected readers for sending in your comments, views and opinions to our 'Letters to the Editor' column. We value your thoughts on the various aspects affecting the Muslim community. Keep them rolling in.

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SAHUC mission worker Fariet Moosa passes away in Makkah

T

he South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) mourns the passing of Brother Fariet Moosa.

On behalf of the Board, NGC members and Mission team of SAHUC, we are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our pioneer mission workers brother Fariet Moosa who has returned in the Mercy of Allah S.W.T. Brother Fariet Moosa was out in the path of Allah making Khidmah to the guests (Hujaaj) of Allah

S.W.T. in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Makkah.

A person out in the service of Deen to the Ummah of our beloved Master Nabi Muhammad Mustapha S.A.W, serving the guests of Allah S.W.T, his reward is that of a Martyr. His reward is solely by Allah S.W.T. His ultimate reward will be his Creator Allah S.W.T. Brother Fariet is survived by his family in South Africa. On the 3rd of June 2022 Brother Fariet left South Africa to serve the Hujaaj in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We make

Duah that Allah S.W.T. grants Brother Fariet the highest stages of Jannatul Firdous. May Allah S.W.T. fill his Qabr with Noor and make his Qabr one of the gardens from the beautiful gardens of paradise. May Allah S.W.T. grant his family sabr through this great loss. May Allah S.W.T. grant them the strength and health in the days to come with Aafiyah. From the Board, National General Council (NGC) and Mission team of SAHUC. Hassan Choonara

‘It’s ok for now, but will Saudis adopt Hajj lottery system in SA for the future?’

I

t’s such a sad and painful time! The Saudi Government has stipulated that pilgrims intending to perform Hajj from Western Countries now need to apply online through a government website named Motawif. After months of uncertainty the role of The Hajj operator has now become obsolete! The way it works is that once registered online, the aspiring Hajee would be selected through a lottery system. Once approved, pilgrims can then go ahead and select their package and make payment via credit card. Packages offered are not that which Hujaaj are accustomed to. Some packages that are offered leave little to choose from. Hotels are a distance from The Haram and flights are monopolised, meaning that travel to The Kingdom must be strictly on Saudi Arabian Airlines. The prices of these packages come across as being inflated and there

is little to no clarification as to how passengers will be transported, who will guide Pilgrims spiritually and how a Pilgrim chooses a package which includes Madinah.

years and are now devastated with this outcome. Hajj operators had paid deposits prior to COVID and intended to utilise these funds for Hajj 2020.

Prices also seem to be a little crazy. For example, the following are costs for the five days of Hajj. In Camp A: SAR18, 592.75 (approx R74, 000 pp), Camp D: SAR5,655,12 (approx R22,500 pp). These include meals and drinks.

Agents and hoteliers agreed to hold funds in credit and defer arrangements until Hajj was open to the world.

There have been reports of pilgrims suffering anxiety due to lack of transparency. The so called state of the art website has sent out spam emails to all on its database, and crashed on numerous occasions. This booking system has left people confused and frustrated. Those who had been successful with the application and paid the exorbitant prices had been left to drop everything and proceed. Many operators have been providing a personal service to pilgrims for as many as 30

Now many agents have to diversify and look for other means of income to recoup their funds, leaving many in deep financial distress. The travel fraternity in the West had petitioned and rallied their governments to intervene in securing their role as Hajj Operators. Is the “lottery” system now going to be the new normal for our brothers and sisters in Western countries? Is it possible that in the future the Saudis may adopt that same system in South Africa? I shudder to think. Ya Allah help us Ridwaan Khan Overport, Durban


Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 11

OPINION

Africom in Zambia means US boots in SADC – we say Yankee go home! What these leaders don’t know or choose to not know, is that imperial powers will use them to do their dirty jobs and then discard them, writes Dr Mustafa Mheta

N

ews that the new Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has or is about to authorize the setting up of an AFRICOM military camp in Zambia is indeed very disturbing news for Africa and the SADC regional body in particular. This will mark the first time in the SADC region that actual USA military boots will be on the ground. My hope is that patriotic forces in Zambia and indeed the entire region will intervene to halt the move. One hopes too that the African Union will take decisive steps to prevent the continent from being used as a fertile ground for America’s military. No individual country has the prerogative to decide on issues that affect the whole continent and the entire SADC region. This decision should be a collective decision that should be taken at

continental level to begin with. Africa should stay clear of aligning itself with any of these powers and instead stay non-aligned as was the case during the cold war era.

the arrogant powers are getting obsessed with trying to counter the rise of China on the African continent. They have conspired with targeted leaders to facilitate Western hegemonic goals.

Wherever in the world the USA has stationed its military, people in those countries express disdain and disappointment. From the Islands of Japan to those of the Philippines and the Middle East, the unmistakable message is Yankee go home!

Unfortunately, what these leaders do not know or choose to not know, is that the arrogant imperial powers will use them to do their dirty jobs and then they will be discarded just like it happened before with the likes of Moise Tshombe, Mobutu Sese Seko, Morgan Tsvangirai, Holden Roberto, Jonas Savimbi, and Alfonso Dhlakama in Mozambique.

President Hichilema should ask himself this question, why did all the founding fathers of our independence on the continent refuse the setting up of AFRICOM on the continent? On whose orders is he breaking up rank with the rest of the continent and does Rwandan President Kagame’s trip to Livingstone have anything to do with his decision? When we look at the bigger picture on how our African politics is shaping up from East, Central and Southern Africa, we see it littered with USA toxins throughout bent on fomenting troubles in these regions. My prediction is that very soon there will be problems on the political landscape in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and South Africa as they go for elections. News of imperialist USA interference in eSwatini in particular, should be a wakeup call to all. What is happening is that

The imperialists’ first step of destroying the unity among the former liberation movements in SADC is almost complete. The revolutionary parties in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Angola, and South Africa are under siege. They have been penetrated to the bone and yet they can’t see that. The sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwe are about to bring forth their first fruits followed by South Africa. What our revolutionary leadership in SADC should do is to go back to basics and study Che Guevara, Fidel Castrol, Muammer Gaddafi, Amilcar Cabral, Samora Machel, Robert Mugabe and Oliver Tambo’s ideas to get back on track. Imperialism by nature thrives on exploiting and

A photo shared on Twitter by the US Embassy in Zambia on April 27 shows Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema flanked by Brigadier General Peter Bailey (R) and US Embassy Zambia Chargé d’Affaires Martin Dale. Credit: US Embassy in Zambia manipulating weak leaders to advance nefarious goals. Those that resist are eliminated. Recall the tragic fates of Gaddafi and Lumumba. Imperialism will always capitalise on the suffering of the people. They tell our revolutionary leaders to hike prices so that there is a general dissatisfaction among the people economically and then have them removed. The advice that we will give to our revolutionary parties is that stop singing from the so-called democracy hymn book presented by the arrogant powers as there is nothing as such. It’s just talk shows, whether it’s in USA, UK, or the EU. If it were true that democracy as we read it in the textbook is real, there would be no wars and so many troubles across the world. Many of these

wars have been brought about by the so-called free world that claims to be democratic in the first instance. The world has been sold a dummy to believe there is anything called democracy. SADC and the AU must go back to basics and reignite the revolutionary spirit of the past and it will guide us back to our winning trajectory that we have since lost. We must also ensure that the house niggers amongst us are kept in check always. All the arrogant imperial powers have blocked anything to do with the ideology of Communism and Socialism in their territories through registration that they have passed, why can’t we do the same in our countries to block neo-liberalism and neo-colonialism through legisla-

The Directors, Management & Staff wish you a blessed Eid Ul Adha May your sacrifice be accepted and may you be showered with blessings.

tion? Yet at the moment in Zimbabwe, there is so much hype around the patriotism act which is currently before parliament and we have seen delegations sent from western capitals to protest against the move, why? To those in SADC who are volunteering to be used as Trojan horses by the arrogant powers, they should know that time is slowly approaching when they will be stopped in their tracts. Lastly, there shall be no AFRICOM boots on SADC soil come what may. Aluta Continua! *Dr. Mustafa Mheta is a senior researcher/Head of Africa Desk at Media Review Network SA Dean: School of Languages at Somali, National University (SNU) Mogadishu, Federal Republic of Somalia.


Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 12

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

New York Times: Israeli forces ‘most likely shot Shireen Abu Akleh’

A New York Times investigation has concluded that an Israeli soldier “most likely” fatally shot Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, adding to a growing body of independent probes that have found that the Palestinian-American correspondent was killed by Israeli forces.

T

he New York Times report, published on Monday, said no Palestinian armed men were near Abu Akleh at the time she was killed in the occupied West Bank, dismissing early Israeli theories blaming Palestinians for the incident. The probe relied on available video footage, witness testimonies and an acoustic analysis of the bullets fired around the time Abu Akleh was killed. “A month-long investi-

gation by The New York Times found that the bullet that killed Ms. Abu Akleh was fired from the approximate location of the Israeli military convoy, most likely by a soldier from an elite unit,” the report reads.

likely killed Abu Akleh.

The killing of Abu Akleh on May 11 sparked international outrage and calls for accountability for attacks on journalists. The slain journalist covered events and Israeli attacks in the occupied Palestinian territory for 25 years, becoming a familiar face across the Arab world.

A probe by the Palestinian Authority also found that Abu Akleh was deliberately shot by Israeli forces. Bullet

She was killed while in full protective press gear clearly identifying her as a journalist, as she prepared to cover an Israeli raid in the West Bank city of Jenin. Reports by the Washington Post, the Associated Press and the investigative group Bellingcat have previously concluded that Israeli forces

A CNN investigation last month said evidence suggests that the veteran journalist was killed in a “targeted attack by Israeli forces”.

Last week, Al Jazeera obtained an image of the bullet that killed Abu Akleh, which was extracted from her head. According to ballistic and forensic experts, the bullet was designed to pierce armour and is used in M4 rifles, which are carried by the Israeli army. The round was manufactured in the United States, experts said. Al Jazeera Media Network has accused Israeli forces of assassinating the journalist “in cold blood“.

Israel, which has repeatedly changed its story about how Abu Akleh was killed and its stance on the investigation, has rejected such reports. Late in May, Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid said he expressed his “protest” to his US counterpart Antony Blinken over what he called “biased investigation of [Abu Akleh’s] death by the Palestinian Authority as well as the so-called ‘investigation’ by CNN”.

Blinken and other officials from the President Joe Biden’s administration have urged a transparent probe into the killing of Abu Akleh while insisting that Israel is the authority to conduct such an investigation. Washington also rejected the possible involvement of the International Criminal Court in the case. Palestinian rights advocates have been denouncing

the US position, stressing that Israel cannot be trusted to investigate itself.

neral, nearly forcing pallbearers to drop the slain journalist’s coffin.

“Palestinian deaths rarely attract international scrutiny, and soldiers accused of crimes against Palestinians in the West Bank are rarely convicted,” the New York Times’ report said on Monday.

Israel initially said “it appears likely that armed Palestinians” were responsible for killing Abu Akleh.

Despite investigations and available evidence pointing the finger at Israel, Blinken said earlier this month that the facts in Abu Akleh’s killing “have not yet been established”. In the same remarks, the top US diplomat called for an “independent” investigation, but the State Department later told Al Jazeera that there “has been no change” in the US approach – that Israel should be the party conducting the probe. After the killing of Abu Akleh, Israeli forces attacked mourners at her fu-

After the incident, the office of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett shared a video of Palestinian gunmen firing into an alleyway, suggesting that they were the ones who shot Abu Akleh. But the theory was quickly debunked as armed men had no line of sight to the slain journalist who was killed hundreds of metres away. And the video was taken hours before the correspondent was killed. Days later, the Israeli army acknowledged that the journalist might have been killed by Israeli fire, but excluded the possibility that she may have been shot deliberately. – Al-Jazeera.

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OPINION

Chikane’s courageous stand in solidarity with Palestine deserves support not rebuke respecting” him, but ends up calling a liar. Such disrespect is far removed from Mofokeng’s insistence that Chikane had a huge influence on his life for which he thanks him.

H

By Iqbal Jassat

aving read Pastor Tom Mofokeng’s scurrilous attempt (City Press, June 17) to discredit and undermine Reverend Frank Chikane, it astounded me to discover a complete absence of substance in his letter. The lack of depth displayed by Mofokeng in his futile effort to renounce Chikane’s brilliant analysis of Israel’s apartheid regime, is compounded by a shocking resort to name-calling. Paradoxically he sets out to patronise Chikane, claiming that he grew up “loving and

Though he sounds convoluted and contradictory, the real purpose of Mofokeng’s open letter is to denigrate Chikane. This is evident in one sentence: “It is a lie to say Israel is an apartheid state”. In other words, Pastor Mofokeng revealed that his purpose was crystal clear - to defend Israel even at the cost of slandering a revered church leader whom he loved and respected. The rest of his incoherent arguments in defense of Israel’s apartheid regime, are no different to the usual rhetoric emanating from Zionist Hasbara (propaganda) outfits. His statement disputing Chikane’s report is eerily similar to the Israeli narrative: “You say Israel is an apartheid state. That is a lie.

On the two occasions that I have visited the country, I went to schools, hospitals, and hotels, and I never saw any sign of apartheid”.

What he forgets or chooses to ignore is that overwhelming evidence of Israel’s apartheid status has been comprehensively documented by a range of human rights organizations. One such institution is the Israeli-based B’Tselem NGO. Its website proclaims the following: Israel’s regime of apartheid and occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B’Tselem strives to end this regime, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. A cursory glance at B’Tselem’s role as a leading human rights monitor will indicate that it has since inception in 1989 been documenting, researching and publishing statistics, testimo-

nies, video footage, position papers and reports on human rights violations committed by Israel.

Chikane’s report back on his findings is an affirmation of a glaring truth about Israel’s barbaric assault on fundamental human rights of Palestinians. I am reminded by TV personality Mehdi Hassan of his account of Israeli journalist Hirsh Goodman’s description about when he returned home from the Six Day War in June 1967 to hear the country’s founding father and first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, speak on the radio. “Israel, he said, better rid itself of the territories and their Arab population as soon as possible. If it did not Israel would soon become an apartheid state.” Apartheid Goodman was born and raised in apartheid-era South Africa. “That phrase, ‘Israel will become an apartheid state,’ resonated with

me,” Goodman wrote in his memoir. Following his pastoral visit, Chikane lamented the pain and suffering of the people of Palestine. He is quoted on the SACBC website as saying: “We witnessed immense pain from the restrictions imposed by the Israeli security forces and the subsequent displacement of the Palestinian people. We believe that God cannot watch the unending pain and suffering of the people of Palestine and those who are racially discriminated against within Israel and turn a blind eye to it.” An apt reminder to Mofokeng to accept the harsh reality of Israel’s brutality and genocidal policies. To dismiss it as a ‘lie’, is to turn a blind eye to it. Chikane’s report is not only accurate but courageous too for speaking truth to power. He correctly asserted that over and above the Reports of Amnesty International, B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch which declare Israel an Apartheid State,

his delegation could see the blatant apartheid in the laws and enforcement of the illegal occupation. In fact they found the system to be more than Apartheid South Africa where at least there were civilian courts rather than military courts and military rules. If Mofokeng is sincere about his love and respect for Chikane, it would be wiser to heed his heartfelt plea to stand in solidarity with Palestine, instead of disparaging the messenger as a liar. “Having lived through the apartheid regime in South Africa, we were quickly able to draw parallels between present-day Israel/Palestine and South Africa under apartheid rule. We fought the injustices imposed on us as Africans supported by the world; and it is our turn to stand in solidarity with Palestine in challenging the same oppressive practices and beliefs carried out by Israel.” *Iqbal Jassat is an Executive Member of the Media Review Network, Johannesburg.


Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 15

FEATURE

Tuan Guru – from prince to colonial prisoner

We continue with our series of articles by MYM stalwart, Fuad Hendricks. Following from the previous segment on Mandela, this piece focuses on Tuan Guru; reflecting on how Tuan Guru adds significance to our contemporary lives.

T

uan Guru, like Madiba, was a political prisoner jailed on Robben Island; but at different period in our history. Tuan Guru was imprisoned on Robben Island about 1780, and Madiba in 1963. Both leaders were imprisoned on Robben Island twice. There are varied historical perspectives as to the exact dates of Tuan Guru’s arrival in Kaap de Goede Hoop and his imprisonment on Robben Island, even the duration of his stay on the Island. Whilst on Robben Island Tuan Guru completed his handwritten Qur’an from memory reiterating its guidance to humanity which characterises the value system and life of Allah’s (God) Final Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him and all the prophets). Prophet Muhammad’s wife, the esteemed ‘A’ishah, repeatedly stressed that “his

way of life (khuluq) was the Qur’an.” The Arabic term khuluq refers to a person’s character, innate disposition, or personality. Unlike Madiba’s ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, ‘Conversations with Myself’, his speeches, and other writings, Tuan Guru’s historical record lacks a detailed account of his life and times. But a lack of his recorded history and life confirms the perspective that the victor wrote the history. In his book ‘From THE SPICE ISLANDS TO CAPE TOWN: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF TUAN GURU’ Shafiq Morton, writes “If it were not for the undying passion of the descendants of Tuan Guru and the pioneering work of people such as Frank Bradlow, Margaret Cairns, and Dr Achmat Davids, Tuan Guru would probably still be a wishful colonial footnote today. Even then, despite the sterling work of these researchers, Tuan Guru has remained an

incomplete figure.” Putting Tuan Guru’s historical record in perspective, Shafiq Morton highlighted the following: “Imam ‘Abdullah ibn Qadi ‘Abd ul-Salam, or Tuan Guru, ‘the Grand Teacher’ (17121807), of Tidore in the Moluccas, arrived at the Cape – a ‘place of sadness’ as he once called it – when Europe was writing its version of African history. Most of our documented sources are the Dutch, Portuguese, and English ones.” Shafiq also duly acknowledged the valuable contribution of several other writers and researchers who focused on the life and times of Tuan Guru. Tuan Guru resisted Dutch Colonial rule of his homeland. He was about 68 years old when exiled and brought as a political prisoner to South Africa. Both Tuan Guru and Nelson Mandela (Madiba) advocat-

ed dialogue and coexistence between cultures and civilisations rather than its clash. It was Samuel P. Huntington who postulated in his book ‘Clash of Civilisations’ that people’s religious and cultural identities will be a primary source of conflict. He further advanced the agenda that wars would be fought between cultures. It seems that his thinking and others sharing such perspectives influenced the foreign policy decisions of certain American and European administrations deeming certain cultures and civilisations as allies and others as enemies. In this instance, scholarship provides the text and context for foreign policy formulation. During the 15th century onwards, the colonial powers scrambled for control of the geopolitical sphere, territory, the spice trade, the economy, and the cloves of Tidore and Ternate, part of modern-day Indonesia. Also, Tidore and

Ternate were under the rule of different sultanates who themselves were fighting for control of the spice trade routes. Some of the sultanates collaborated with the respective colonial powers. They opposed one another to maintain their dominance and political rule over the various islands and territories. Like Madiba, Tuan Guru’s emotional intelligence was tested to the hilt throughout his life and his exile from the Islands of the archipelago of Tidore to South Africa. The

hegemonic rise of the colonial powers changed his fate from prince to prisoner of the Dutch who colonised the Island of Tidore. Tuan Guru’s banishment by the Dutch to Kaap de Goede Hoop also sprouted the seeds of early Islam in South Africa. He arrived in Cape Town in ‘chains’ as a prisoner of the Dutch but in heart, soul, and mind he was a free man firmly rooted in his faith-based civilisation as a Muslim. continued on page 16

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Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 16

FEATURE continued from page 15

His leadership attracted slaves to the call of Islam. They found a social home, sense of community and welcoming worldview where they felt mentally and physically liberated from the shackles of their slave masters. He, together with the rest of the Muslim leadership created a ‘liberated’ community where everyone was a brother or a sister in faith, within the context of a broader colonial society dominated by race and class. Leo Tolstoy’s opening line in his book ‘Anna Karen-

ina’, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” arouses mixed feelings about the family.

universities, and all the other critical structures at the core of a well-ordered and successful society and country.

Both Madiba and Tuan Guru were parents. They were reared and grew up in extended families. The family as an institution remains paramount in terms of directing the destiny of its members.

Commonly, the family is the cradle where the budding leadership of a community and country is rudimentarily nurtured, developed and given its rock-solid foundation.

Essentially and crucially the family is the feeder system for human capital and leadership to all other institutions. These include political parties, state, business enterprises, judiciary,

Of all the institutions ravaged by colonialism and apartheid the family as a principal institution bore the brunt of its devastation damaging the lives of the many. Tuan Guru was taught religiously to “seek

knowledge from the cradle to the grave” and this meant that the family was the hub where formative leadership development starts and is practiced. As an Imam of a faith community, Tuan Guru had his hands full in moulding and shaping the many children entrusted by parents to him to teach them their faith traditions and civilizational norms. During Tuan Guru’s childhood his parents also selected the very best teachers for him to augment their parental teaching and nurturing of their son and

his other siblings. These young souls entrusted to Tuan Guru by their parents who he mentored and coached were each individually unique. Tuan Guru’s mentoring and teaching role was to awaken in them the realisation that Allah (God) considers each one of them as part of the best of creation. Children want reinforcement and reassurance that they are individually very special as part of the collective. Tuan Guru grew up in an archipelago of islands rich with its indigenous cultures, Islamic civilisational traditions, and value system. It was a social, religious, political, economic, and civilisational environment which shaped his outlook and way of life. After his mother Boki Nuriniyah gave birth to him his father ‘Abd alSalam recited in his ear, a supplication expressing his wish that his son would grow up and live his life as a Muslim; a way of life based on the Qur’anic teachings believing in the Oneness, Uniqueness, and Almightiness of God, and following the teachings of Prophet Muhammad and all the other prophets (peace and blessings on them all). This traditional religious practice to welcome newborn children as pure, naming her or him, and connecting them to a higher purpose and godliness as the “natural inborn disposition and inclination of every human being” forms part of the Qur’anic teachings and role model of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings on him). Tuan Guru was born into a society informed by the Qur’anic teachings “We have honoured the children of (Prophet) Adam” (peace be upon him). Therefore, it was from this premise of common and universal human equality that colonialism was resisted. There is no chosen or preferred race, only a shared and common humanity. Tuan Guru was part of a joyous society schooled by their elders that “smiling is charity.” Commonly, the islanders of Tidore and the rest of the archipelago like several of the indigenous tribes of Africa are a musical and harmonious people. Their joyousness was enkindled by their mantras, music, drums, and other musical instruments, lyrics, folklore, and narratives of the ancestors whose dialects speak the common language of our hearts. They are surrounded by so much

natural beauty, sustainable resources, gifts of nature, which they perceive as bounties from God. Soulfully in the Muslim ruled City of Andalusia, Spain, some religious teachers, and healers used music as a therapy to treat and calm mentally challenged patients. As an Imam in Kaap de Goede Hoop, he acquired a deep spiritual and emotional intelligence insight into the lives of Muslim society, their family life, marriages, children, and the many challenges faced by them and brought to him for solutions and remedial advice. The role of the Imam in Muslim communities is to lead them not only spiritually but also to guide them to live their lives according to the teachings of the Qur’an and generally the role models of the Prophets. In the main the Imam personifies the credo that it takes the collective to raise our children. The Imam touches the lives of every aspect of the family and community. The Imam as the spiritual leader is the go-to-person during happy times when community members get married, the birth of their children, and all other family occasions. But the Imam is also the shoulder to cry on when their emotional intelligence tumbles, when a marriage falls apart, acrimonious family disputes, times of doubt and uncertainty, crisis of conscience, tough and unmanageable periods, spiritual and emotional discord, or death in the family. So much is expected of an Imam. The community’s extraordinary demands covering a large part of our lives, which may well exceed even the most capable of souls’ abilities to do justice to the duties of an Imam. But such was the life of an Imam like Tuan Guru. The exiled son of Tidore transitioned into an African hero, a country which he adopted with all his heart and mind. This was where he lived his final days. He was buried and covered with the African soil on which he toiled to grow and develop an inclusive society. It was the country he came to love, cherish, and made his contribution to a gracious African society which embraces the confluence of all diverse civilizational streams and rich human diversity.It was an uhuru moment when Madiba paid tribute to him and other exiles who made South Africa and Afica their home.


Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 17

Biryani INGREDIENTS: 2 cups rice ½ cup black masoor 1kg chicken/mutton/vegetables-washed and cut 2 medium sized onions chopped 1 tomato sliced or liquidised 4-5 small potatoes 3 hard boiled eggs(optional) ¾ cup oil or ghee (clarified butter) 2 tablespoons osmans tajmahal breyani masala 1 cup of yoghurt Egg yellow colour(mixed in a little water) Whole spice-cumin/jeera Green chillies(optional) Salt to taste 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste

METHOD: Fry onions in ¾ oil or clarified butter(ghee) Drain,cool and set aside or further use Place cut and washed meat/ chicken and vegetables in a large bowl Add breyani masala and egg yellow colour mixture to meat/chicken/veg and mix Add sour milk, tomatoes and 3/4s of the fried onions. Add potato and green chillies and leave to marinade for ½ an hour Boil black masoor in a pot consisting of 3 cups of water for approx 25 to 30 mins Drain water and set aside Boil rice in a pot containing 5 cups of water and salt to taste for 10 to 15 minutes till slightly underdone Drain water and set aside In a flat bottomed potAdd oil/ghee used for frying the onions Sprinkle a handful of black masoor and rice over the bottom of the pot and arrange the marinated meat/chicken /veg on top Spread the balance of the black masoor over and

W E M A K E D UA T H AT T H E A LM I G H T Y G R A N T A LL H UJAA J A

the spread the balance of the rice over the masoor Sprinkle the left over ¼ of the fried onions over the top of the rice Fry whole jeera in ghee and sprinkle over rice Sprinkle a ¼ cup of water over the rice Cover the rice with foil and seal lid of pot tightly Place the pot on high heat on the stove plate for 5 to 10 minutes As soon as it sizzles place pot in the oven 180 degrees celcius for approx 2 hours and for 1 hour for veg Serve with papards and salad.

Hajj Maqbool

GROUP willowtongroup.com


Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 18

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

No problems for SA hujjaj …but overseas brethren forced to book online face ‘chaos’

S

By Al Qalam Reporter

outh African hujjaj have arrived in the Holy Land without any glitches but their brethren in Europe, North America, New Zealand, UK, and Australia have been thrown in disarray after the Saudi Government announced at the last minute to outsource Hajj visas and permits through an online portal called Motawif run by a Hindu company based in India Fortunately, South Africa and other countries on the continent were not affected by the “Lottery” system. For the affected countries, the new process – in which those selected would win their place through an “automated lottery” system and purchase their accommodation and flights directly with the Saudi government – signified a major overnight shift which essential-

ly scrapped the decades-old system of using approved travel agencies. This has left thousands devastated. In what further draws shade on the controversial change, however, it has now been revealed that the Motawif portal and its online application system has at least one investor with close ties to India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has implemented anti-Muslim policies and plays a role in the persecution of Muslims throughout India. According to ABC News of Australia, The new visa lottery system has thrown Australian Muslims’ Hajj plans into chaos. The rules changed overnight, forcing many to cancel their flights and hotel bookings. But Saudi Arabia has defended its policy saying the lottery system is designed to crack down on Hajj-related scams In Australia, for instance, thousands had

been waiting since 2019 for the chance to go this year, ready to use their life savings to secure a spot. The Saudi government’s decision has left many blindsided and reeling. “It’s completely devastated the whole market, not just from the travel agents’ point of view, but for the pilgrims,” a Melbourne -based travel agent said. “Not everybody is familiar with the internet. There are senior citizens who are unfamiliar with the processes online, who don’t even have credit cards. “So it’s just a complete mess, to be totally frank with you.” Meanwhile, according to a report by the London-based news outlet Middle East Eye, Prashant Prakash – the vice-president and partner at venture capital firm Accel India – was a key investor in the company which the Saudi government hired to set up the new Hajj application sys-

QURBANI

- EST. 1999 -

OUR DOYEN – MARHOOM ISMAIL PATEL (1942-2021)

In more recent times, Ismail Mota acted as an Exco member on the Board of Phoenix Muslim School, a project of the Orient Old Boys. In so doing, he assisted and became involved in our fundraising responsibilities which, as you are aware, is largely reliant on Zakaat and Lillah collection. Ismail Mota’s networking, integrity and sincerity enabled him to reach out to individuals and businesses alike, with whom he shared longstanding relationships. The vision and mission of Phoenix Muslim School was so close to his heart that despite his age and waning health, not to mention his need for a walking aid, he was never deterred in travelling the distance from his home in Merebank to the School in Phoenix, in order to attend meetings. Ismail Mota’s great sense of humour and remarkable memory left an indelible impression on us all. In fact, his ability to remember each and everyone’s family, often enquiring about their wellbeing, is a unique trait. He would often enquire as regards all his “grandchildren”, in a jovial reference to the children of the fellow Exco members. For us, it held true as he remains a father figure to all.

of forward-thinking with the use of technology and processdriven methodologies in line with contemporary, corporate governance trends. It has become our responsibility to take this forward. As our loyal and generous donors over the past 22 years, the learners, parents, staff, management, and Board of Governors acknowledge and appreciate your invaluable support. The Board now must warmly and with keen optimism invite all those associated with Ismail Mota to kindly continue contributing to our cause, inasmuch as it is surely needed as it is in honour of Ismail Mota’s legacy. Please reach out to Saleem Paruk by email at saleem@lorenzini.co.za or on 083 700 3678 to assist. Every so often, Almighty Allah sends to us people from whose nature and goodwill, only goodness and benefit can be derived. He then calls them to return to His mercy. Ismail Mota is an example of such an individual. While his absence remains conspicuous, his life and lessons are a proverbial book from which we continue to draw pages.

Wassalaam Zain Fakroodeen Chairman\Ameer

Educating & Inviting to a Perfect Way of Life. PO BOX 675, Mount Edgecombe, 4300, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa MAIL US ON school@phoenixmuslimschool.co.za

w w w. p h o e n i x m u s l i m s c h o o l . c o . z a

GIRLS CAMPUS 5/7 Steelbridge Grove, Phoenix, 4068 Kwazulu Natal, South Africa TEL 031 502 6940

Revive the sunnah, and help bring a smile to some of the most needy people throughout the world this Eid!

R1820 Per Cattle

Prices include slaughtering and distribution. Qurbani carried out in India. Qurbani in Africa and other regions also available. Call for pricing and information. Aqeeqa and Sadaqa performed throughout the year. Water wells constructed for Esale Sawaab. Qurbani contributions can be collected from you - please call us to arrange.

We look forward to hearing positively from each and every one of you.

MAIN CAMPUS 22 Charclay Gardens, Clayfield, Phoenix, 4068 Kwazulu Natal, South Africa TEL 031 502 7861 EFAX 0866 940 790

Those accredited hujjaj that had refunds due to them from Hajj 2020 had been sorted out by the relevant operators”.

R260

We shall certainly miss Ismail Mota and supplicate the Almighty to elevate his status in this world and the next. Our duas for patience and ease extend to his beloved wife, Aunty Farida, and to his family.

We will forever be inspired by Ismail Mota’s wisdom, energy and resourcefulness. None should be under any illusions that he was an ‘old guard’, emanating from the ‘old school’, yet remained an avid proponent, participant and protagonist

PHOENIX MUSLIM SCHOOL

He said those hujjaj that were accredited to go on

Hajj, has “departed thus far with no incidents.

1443

BANK DETAILS

Ismail Mota was born in Durban on the 26th May 1942 and passed away on the 30th December 2021, at the ripe age of 79. He was a founding father of the Orient Old Boys and was its longest serving member, having assisted in various capacities until his demise. Over the years, he also served in various civil societies and charitable bodies.

a “difficult year for SAMTOA operators”, especially having being denied to be in the service of hujjaj as they usually do.

2022

Over 20 Years of Educating & Inviting to a Perfect Way of Life.

To the many of whom the affable and dependable Marhoom Ismail Patel (aka ‘Ismail Mota’) was known, we can all agree that his larger-than-life personality belied his age and health. The trademark and empathic “Assalaamu alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh” filled any room with energy, warmth and an almost palpable joy – a sound which resonates with us to this day.

tem. Back home, the South African Muslim Travel Operators Association (SAMTOA) told Al Qalam there has been no problems. Sedick Steenkamp, chairman of SAMTOA said in a statement that it has been

Kindly email the proof of payment and list of names to

info@assunnah.co.za or assunnah786@yahoo.com

076 770 2786 / 083 786 5629 www.assunnah.co.za


Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 19

ADVERT

AMAANAT – HAK OMAR SPEAKS! Let’s Restore Value for the Shareholders Dear Shareholders of the Amaanat Group, I greet you by invoking mutual peace, the mercy of Allah on all of us, and pray for blessings on our beloved Prophet (s). I take this opportunity to write to all of you and to answer the many questions that have swirled about in your minds, in the public space, and on social media since November 2021. It is now almost 8 months since my son and I were accused with grave allegations that have been aimed at damaging our personal and professional reputations, and have resulted in the breakup and damaging of family and professional relations, as well as personal friendships built up over decades. More importantly, it has done damage to Amaanat as a unique institution which was trusted with the hard-earned money of hard-working people, honest businesses and deep community organisations and institutions. Synonymous to the damage suffered by Amaanat is the damage caused to the interests and value of each and every shareholder. As one of about 6500 shareholders, it is indeed sad to see that - in addition to the hardships imposed by two years of Covid lockdowns – Amaanat’s current management is now inflicting harm on its shareholders: its value has been made to drop; its reputation has been damaged; its shareholders have been prepared for reduced returns; its assets are being devalued for a fire sale; and while the shareholders are panicking and the vulnerable ones want out, the hyenas and vultures are circling to dispose and capture the remains of the Amaanat portfolio and asset base. For 8 months my family and I have been absorbing abuse, threats, and have witnessed lies, fake news and false accusations. For 8 months we waited for the promised evidence of fraud and corruption with the promised legal steps. And for 8 months we waited for the promised revival of Amaanat and the great returns promised to shareholders. All we have seen over 8 months were the (planned?) depreciation of Amaanat’s asset value, the significant decline or absence of shareholder returns, the beginning of asset-stripping below market value, the drop in income collection, and the increasing mismanagement of Amaanat with nobody taking active control to mitigate these issues. I, as an employee of Amaanat since 1975, and director of the Group since 2005, have invested so much in Amaanat and cannot stand by while the shareholders are being sold short on a diet of untruths and are being prepared for a slaughter in the financial market. The shareholders at least need the truth about what is happening, and at best they need Amaanat to work with their hard-earned investment with integrity in tough economic times. Let me try to answer the many questions and concerns you have, the doubts and suspicions you’ve been given, and the fears and anxiety you’re experiencing. In the light of the aforesaid I feel obliged to reply to a few questions which according to me remain unanswered in the public domain.

Question 1. Did you and your son steal or defraud or siphon in excess or R 160 million from Amaanat? Absolutely not. R160 million is indeed a real figure paid out duly to entities such as Kreston over a period of 10 years as management fees. This was because the Board of Amaanat always knew that: - Amaanat itself has no employees or capacity to do its management and administra-

tion of its assets and properties, collection of its income, maintaining of its books and records as well as the share register and shareholders wellbeing, payments of its bills and revenue, managing its legal and financial transactions, providing services like marketing and research, and doing the day to day running of its operations; - Entities like Kreston were equipped and mandated to do all of these management functions of Amaanat, and in fact, were subject to both mandating by, and reporting on the management of Amaanat, while the Board always had the opportunity to interrogate or oversee such management operations; - Outsourcing the management functions to entities like Kreston would be much more cost effective than either building and maintaining such a capacity for Amaanat or outsourcing this management to another entity in the private sector.

Question 2. So how did it come that you’re accused of defrauding Amaanat of over R 160 million? The transfer of about R 160m to entities like Kreston constitute management fees over a period of 10 years. That figure therefore comes to about R 16 million per year in management fees for the operational services of about 50 employees. R 16 million a year to manage a property portfolio of about R4,5 billion approximates to a management percentage of 0.3% - which is comparatively low by any standard and incredibly low compared to any asset of this size. While the R160 million may seem like a substantial amount, one must remember that this money was not paid to myself in my personal capacity. This money was paid over 10 years to run a R4.5 billion fund, managing 40 plus subsidiaries and paying multiple companies worth of staff. Recently, a BEE company had reason to dispute allegations made by a shareholder about the remuneration of its management. It asserted that its management was paid R157 million over 8 years in salary, incentives and share options. We invite shareholders to search Amaanat’s own financial statements to find where payments were made directly by Amaanat over the last 10 years indicating the costs for management, other than the payments / transfers to entities like Kreston for these services. These payments were done sensitive to the cash flow exigencies of Amaanat.

Question 3. If this is so, why did you and your son resign from Amaanat, allowing your resignation to be misrepresented as a confession of guilt? On the eve of the AGM of Amaanat in 2021, my son and I were confronted and threatened with 15 years in jail unless we resigned for the good of Amaanat. After discussion and much soulsearching we did so, trusting the goodwill and with the undertaking of being able to put our case. Yet our resignations were presented to the Board as a confession of guilt. This is what made us take the very difficult step of referring the matter to the Legal Practice Council for their deliberation on the question of legal breaches, including of Attorney-Client privilege. This matter is now being considered and we await the outcome.

Question 4. Did you act alone, without consultation, in Amaanat in managing such a vast portfolio in such a unique way? I suppose that in good times everybody is on board. We collectively take the credit for

growing the portfolio and asset base from R 250 million to R 4,5 billion. Everybody is on board when we acquire properties, when we manage the portfolio, when Coral collects the rental income, and when we declare returns to shareholders. But when we are tested by Covid, by recession and by riots, then management is an orphan: they stand alone and must be the scapegoat when returns decline. No, we didn’t act alone or unilaterally. In fact, this would have been impossible due to the board having the power and the responsibility to oversee any aspect of AIH. Investment decisions were Board decisions whether through approving transactions or whether through the process of mandating management frameworks for management decisions. There was always the prerogative to engage operationally, and there was always accountability for decisions. The financial statements were also presented regularly for scrutiny and needed to be approved during shareholder and director meetings.

Question 5. Do you think Amaanat can be saved? Would you engage the new Board in the interest of salvaging Amaanat’s value and ensuring the investments of shareholders? I have invested 46 years of my life in Amaanat from being a trainee to being director. Amaanat is a substantial part of who I am. I believe I have always acted in the best interest of Amaanat and its shareholders, and while there may have been mistakes, the value of Amaanat grew phenomenally and returns to shareholders were consistent. I tried to take care of both our clients and shareholders even in the tough times of Covid and the riots and applied my expertise to ensure that both parties could co-exist sustainably. Amaanat is too important to implode. It is a cornerstone of our community and many of its members are partially or even wholly reliant on its returns. It cannot be allowed to fail - not at the hand of economic conditions nor unscrupulous predators. They have had 8 months to prove themselves and they now speculate Amaanat’s value at about R1,5bn (admittedly, no independent and accredited valuation of this laughable figure could be provided). This will be disastrous, and while I’m tempted to move on, too many lives and livelihoods depend on Amaanat’s good performance. So, if the new Board wants to be assisted in salvaging Amaanat for the shareholders, then I’m open to engagement. We’ve requested this since November 2021, asking only the right to respond to the allegations under impartial conditions. We know that even respected ulema have offered to mediate, on the basis that Shariah demands that the accuser must provide the evidence, to which the accused must provide a defence. Nothing was forthcoming. Not even the so-called forensic audit wanted to sit down for the other side of the story. Yet, the BOD asked our help, and we’ve been assisting, over the last 8 months. Imagine that the same people who accuse us of theft still come to us to solve issues they know nothing of and at the same time propose to tell us of a deficit of value added. Let’ s get Amaanat back to its real value, let’s stop the fire sale, let’s restore shareholder value, and let’s do a real clean-up of Amaanat. We can only trust in Allah! Issued by: H.A.K. Omar. 131 Jan Hofmeyr Rd, Westville 3629, KZN

Amaanat Ad Print Final.indd 1

6/22/2022 10:21:11 AM


Al-Qalam June 2022 Page 20

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Israel uncovers rare early mosque in Negev

I

sraeli archaeologists on Wednesday unveiled a rare ancient mosque in the country’s south that the antiquities officials said sheds light on the region’s transition from Christianity to Islam. The remains of the mosque, believed to be more than 1,200 years old, were discovered during works to build a new neighborhood in the Bedouin city of Rahat, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement. The mosque located in the Negev desert contains “a square room and a wall facing the direction of Makkah,” with a half-circle niche in that wall pointing to the south, the IAA said. “These unique architectural features show that the building was used as a mosque,” the authority said, noting it probably hosted a few dozen worshippers at a time. A short distance from the mosque, a “luxurious estate building” was also discovered, with remains of tableware and glass artifacts pointing to the wealth of its

The mosques, estate and other homes found nearby illuminate “the historical process that took place in the northern Negev with the introduction of a new religion — the religion of Islam, and a new rulership and culture in the region. residents, the IAA said. Three years ago, the authority unearthed another mosque nearby from the same era of the seventh to eighth century AD, calling

the two Islamic places of worship “among the earliest known worldwide.” The mosques, estate and other homes found nearby

illuminate “the historical process that took place in the northern Negev with the introduction of a new religion — the religion of Islam, and a new rulership and culture

in the region,” the IAA said. “These were gradually established, inheriting the earlier Byzantine government and the Christian religion that held sway over the land

for hundreds of years.” The Muslim conquest of the region occurred in the first half of the seventh century. – Arab News

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